Aug 31, 2013

3d printed book by Tom Burtonwood

3D printing in dam design process

MIT 3d printing with variable densities

Video from 2011 showing MIT experiments with 3d printed density gradients that usually occur in nature.

Project SneaKey - 3d printing keys from photographs

Take a photo of a lock and key and 3d print it. Potential for abuse is there with this technology ... same as with any new technology ...

Video by:

Comparing professional and hobby 3d scanner

Great video with comparisons of 3d scanning results of entry level 3d scanner and professional 3d scanning hardware ... 
Video by: Bernhardt Mayrhofer  

From video description:

I always wanted to know, how much better a professional 3D scanner is, compared to my cool Carmine 1.09. You can use the 3D scanning Software Artec Studio with both entry-Level 3D Scanners like the Carmine 1.09, or Kinect and professional 3D Scanners like Artec Eva, or Artec Spider. Therefore I used this software to give you an impression what you can do with hobby scanners and what is possible with professional 3D scanners.
Please have a look at the amazing interactive 3D model from the Artec Eva scanner at:
To get more information about 3D scanning, please have a look at: and

3d printed skateboard

It is more an art piece then a everyday skateboard ...

From video description:
Please note that this skateboard is an art piece and not really for actually using. It is rideable, but as I'm sure you can see workout, it's not anywhere near the strength and pop of a good old 9 ply Canadian maple deck. This is not a comercial product and we're not saying that we're becoming the first company to manufacture 3D printed skateboards. That would be silly.** - Sam Abbot is one skilled fella - he won our competition that we co-hosted with CGTrader last month. Sam won best the best portfolio catagory due to his plethora of awesome designs. We then had a few weeks of fun making his skateboard..... it wasn't quite as strait forward as just a print as the board is longer than our build tray, meaning that we had to cut it into 3 sections, joining it together with some connector pins to ensure accuracy and to give it some strength over a simple butt joint. The final result..... the worlds first 3d printed twin tip skateboard.

.... is it ride-able? Yes... but I wouldn't drop down many sets of stairs on it just yet!

Design By:
Sam Abbott

Video by:


Here is new, more advanced and usable skateboard made in partnership with Solid Concepts

Aug 29, 2013

Ultimaker printing via Bluetooth and glass printbed customization

Petleh82 improved his Ultimaker. He added cheap Bluetooth module to enable wireless printing. He also stopped using blue tape on printbed and replaced it it with glass. To get PLA to stick to the glass print surface he coated it in mixture of wood glue and water. He successfully printed with nylon on glaass since it has problems sticking and warping on blue tape. Nice projects Petleh!

Check out previous post with a video on his one year with the 3d printer. He really shows how printers are useful and fun in everyday life:

Filament Winder v2

By Ian Johnson

Here is the first version:


here is v3:

More on NASA 3d printed rocket engine

Aug 27, 2013

FABtotum Personal Fabricator

Hybrids WILL be the new standard fro desktop manufacturing.

From product page:

FABtotum is a multipurpose tool, the first Low Cost Desktop Personal Fabrication device that can operate a wide range of Computer controlled (CNC) manufacturing processes.
Print, Cut, Mill, Scan, Manipulate. Rinse and repeat!
A seamless interaction between the physical and the digital world.
While Current 3D printers are defined as Personal fabricators, there is so much more to personal fabrication than 3d printing alone! FABtotum allows anyone to explore the endless possibilities of a multipurpose fabrication device.
Thanks to a sturdy structure and unconventional tecnical solutions FABtotum is capable of subtractive machining without compromising 3d printing volumes or printing speeds.
Switching to subtractive mode is easy: just remove and tilt the double sided printing plane and expose the milling plane with built in fixtures to secure your workpiece.
Along with 3/4 Axis Subtractive Machining, Fabtotum is capable of 3-axis hybrid Additive / Subtractive manufacturing, meaning you can work in dual mode without loosing the position or having to move the workpiece.
  • 3D milling on light materials (Balsa, Foam, light wood)
  • PCB milling : make your own circuit boards!
  • Engraving
  • 2.5 D Profiling (cutting) on light materials (balsa,Foam,Light wood)
  • CNC Pre-Drilling
  • 4 Axis machining on light materials.
  • 4 Axis Engraving 
Digital Aquisition:
FABtotum is capable of scanning solid objects thanks to a built in laser scanner (quick scan, medium quality) and one dimension (Z) touch probe digitalizer (hi-accuracy, very slow).
Using this feature you'll be able to unlock a whole lot of potential: scan and print duplicates of solid objects, create new objects with foams or modeling clay and scan them for further editing in a modeling software of choice, or print them in additive mode or cut/mill in subtractive mode.
Most 3d scanners cannot acquire small objects (such as a coin) and a physical digitalizer cannot acquire complex objects without at least 4 axis of freedom.
FABtotum can do both.
Scanning objects means you'll never run out of stuff to print, you'll be able to experiment with shapes or reverse-engineer objects around you, scanning and then duplicating a modified version!
  • Size: 366x366x366mm
  • Printing volume (additive) : 210x240x240mm (24 % in additive mode)
  • Milling Volume (Subtractive) : 210x240x[your milling bit height] mm
  • Scan volume (optical/digitalizer) : as much as accesible (up to printing volume depending on the object shape)
  • Scan Angular resolution: from 83 to 133 steps/degree in 1/16th microstepping mode.
  • CMOS sensor: 1024x768 or above.
  • 4th axis Milling angular resolution: as "Scan Angular resolution"
  • Z layer height: from 0.10 to 0.4 mm 
  • Z level minimum increments: encoder resolution 0,00047mm (0,47 microns) in 1/16th microstepping. (3mm pitch leadscrew / 200 steps *16 * 2 gearbox = 0,000467 = approx 0.47 microns. ,less than half a micron)
  • Additive materials: PLA,ABS : built in protected material storage/coil.
  • Subtractive materials: with onboard motor: Foam,Balsa,Plywood,thin Aluminium, brass alloys (PCB layer).
  • Additive head: 0.35 or 0.45 or 0.5mm nozzle , Bowden extruder. 
  • Subtractive tool: Onboard 30 Watt spindle. standard milling bits (3.25mm diam.)
  • Additional tool: space for tools up to 60mm mounting diameter.
  • Acquisition method: Laser Scanner (line laser) and Z digitizer probe
  • Other systems: mechanical homing endstops, vacuum cleaner port.
  • I/O : USB

Mebotics Microfactory

I want to see it in production and on my table. Hope it will live up to the hype around it.

From video description:

We're revolutionizing personal manufacturing with this amazing all-in-one, networkable, four-color 3D printer and milling machine!
Makers making for makers: The Microfactory project began one year ago when four friends, longtime members of an independent maker space in Somerville, Massachusetts called Artisans Asylum, came together to create a better prototyping and machining that was easy to use, self-contained, and capable of a truly impressive list of tasks. They independently financed the development and testing of five full versions of the Microfactory, resulting in the exceptional product featured here. The Microfactory was entirely conceived, designed and built by people who have spent their lives around machines, who wanted to make something truly revolutionary and highly usable for makers everywhere.
Introducing the Microfactory: a networked, easy to operate, affordable, mess free, quiet, safe and fully-enclosed machine capable of:
printing functional parts in four colors or multiple materials
AND computerized etching
AND computer-controlled milling!
And check out some of the special features we've built in:
Port for a shop-vac hose so the machine "cleans up after itself" while it runs
Noise-reducing housing with safety-stop button
Full on-board computer -- no separate hardware or software needed! Connect and control through any (wired) network.
High-quality industry standard software built right in

Aug 25, 2013

3d printed food from insects

Many people say that insects are food of the future and will solve world food problems since they are much more efficient in converting plant matter into protein.
Only problem is that most (western) people don't like the look of them. So, here is the solution, powder the insects and 3d print nice appetizing forms from them. Voila! Another world problem solved with 3d printing.


If someone is more interested in eating insects here is a good video:

DIY 40 $ chamber and effects on 3d print quality

While browsing reddit I found this post by MEOW_POOPY on effects of his DIY 40$ printer chamber on print quality of larger ABS objects. Very informative and worth replicating.  Things printed in chamber look much better and smoother.

His first comment:

Printing on a LulzBot Taz. The two pieces that you see are an Explosive Nitrons from the game Tribes: Ascend.
Both were printed with the same settings. The one on the left was printed in an enclosure and the one on the right was printed outside(inside a garage, outside of an enclosure). It is a little hard to tell but there are actually a lot of cracks on the non-enclosure part.
The enclosure looks like shit but as you can see, it works. Took me about 1.5 hours to build and about $40.00 bucks to build. Almost all of that money went to the poly carbonate front window. I only used half of what I bought so really, its about 20 bucks.

Original reddit post:

NESPo - portable retro gaming

Dave Nunez developed this 3d printed portable NES like gaming device. I like it.


For those special projects where you need to print something with living cells ...

Project description:
CellStruder is a 20mL syringe extruder powered by a NEMA stepper motor, capable of of precise liquid extrusion at the microliter level. Originally developed in Jeff Tabor's lab at Rice University, this device is currently being used for cell printing, enabling research in synthetic biology, biological pattern formation and engineering of cellular logic. An example print of E. coli cells expressing green fluorescent protein is shown above as well as microscopy of printed cells.

 by Ravi Sheth

Update (17.2.2014):

Cellstruder v2 is released, now with retractable syringe mechanism:

Mammoth Stereolithography

VERY big printer ....

Standard lead time:

4-8 working days

Standard accuracy:

± 0.2% (min. +/- 0.2 mm). Higher accuracy can be achieved after finishing.
Parts built in one part are more accurate than parts glued together.

Maximum part dimensions:

Dimensions are unlimited as components may be composed of several sub-parts. The build area of the largest mammoth machine is 2100x700x800 mm.

Surface structure:

All kinds of (very) fine finishing are possible thanks to the high-quality surface finish. They can be laquered, painted, covered, coated …

One of the practical examples for application of this technology is design, prototyping and construction  of LifeSaver M1 water purification system.

Open SLS: An Open Source Selective Laser Sintering Project

There is a research underway as part of Rice's Advanced Manufacturing Research Institute (AMRI) to create open source SLS printer. It is done by Andreas Bastian.

More on AMRI:

AMRI has some cool projects going on. I wish them all bright future!

Detailed tumblr with build process advancements:


here is a video of Open SLS in action:

OpenSLS: Powder Distribution Test from Andreas Bastian on Vimeo.
This is a new powder distribution mechanism that I am employing on a prototype selective laser sintering machine under development at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Institute (AMRI). More about the open source project can be found at

Update 2:
New project webpage:

You can follow OpenSLS project developments and view all the documentation on:

Bike repair with 3d printing

Just an example how can 3d printing be used to repair everyday objects.


Original posts with more details:

Echoviren - 3d printed outdoor structure

echoviren from TERRA TOX'IS on Vimeo.
Smith|Allen Studio Presents EchoViren

Gualala, CA. Smith|Allen is participating in the Project 387 Residency,
located in Mendocino Country from August 4-18, 2013. In the heart of
a 150-acre redwood forest, the collaborative duo will be creating a site
responsive, 3D printed architectural installation: Echoviren. The project
merges architecture, art and technology to explore the dialectic between
man, machine and nature. The Project 387 open house and reception
will be Saturday, August 17 from 2-5pm.

Spanning 10 x 10 x 8 feet, Echoviren is a translucent white enclosure, stark
and artificial against the natural palette of reds and greens of the forest.
Walking around and within the structure, the viewer is immediately
consumed by the juxtaposition, as well as uncanny similarity, of natural
and unnatural: the large oculus, open floor, and porous surface framing
the surrounding coastal landscape.

Echoviren is being fabricated, printed, and assembled on site by the
designers. Through the use of architectural technologies and a battery
of consumer grade Type A Machines desktop 3D printers, the duo will
construct the world’s first 3D printed, full-scale architectural installation.
Entirely composed of 3D printed plant based bio-plastic, the constructed
space will decompose naturally back into the forest in 30 to 50 years.
A graft within the space of the forest, Echoviren is a space for
contemplation of the landscape, of the natural, and our relationship
with these constructs. It focuses on the essence of the forest not as a
natural system, but as a palimpsest. The hybridized experience within
the piece highlights the accumulated iterations of a site, hidden within
contemporary landscapes. Echoviren exposes an ecosystem of dynamic
natural and unnatural interventions: the interplay of man and nature
moderated by technology over the centuries.

Smith|Allen merges an architect and designer with a sculpture and
installation artist. The duo’s practice combines an interest in installation,
material and dimension with architecture, computer modeling, and novel
technologies. Smith|Allen focuses on work that is visually, conceptually
and experientially engaging for the viewer. Bryan Allen received his
Masters in Architecture from University of California at Berkeley, and has
taught at UC Berkeley and San Jose State. He has exhibited at Wurster
Hall, the Firehouse Collective, and Headquarters Gallery in Berkeley, and
at numerous spaces in Salt Lake City, Utah. Stephanie Smith is a Bay Area
artist who graduated from UC Berkeley with degrees in Art Practice
Psychology. She has shown at Yerba Buena Gardens, the Worth Ryder
Gallery, Headquarters Gallery, the Firehouse Collective and Café Local
123 in Berkeley. The duo lives and works in Oakland.

Project 387 is a multidisciplinary residency program launching its
inaugural season August 4 – 18, 2013. Located in rural Mendocino
Country, Project 387 has offered six artists an opportunity to develop
their proposed projects in the quiet of giant redwoods. This year’s
selected residents are: Bryan Allen and Stephanie Smith (Oakland CA),
Rich Benjamin (Brooklyn NY), Claudia Bicen (San Francisco CA), Sean
McFarland (San Francisco CA), and Robert Wechsler (Glendale CA).
Project 387 provides community-based living and working experience to
artists in all career stages. The residency is a unique opportunity to dive
into the creative process in a focused, exploratory and rigorous manner
while removed from the clamor of urban distractions.
Music By Patrick Krier

Aug 24, 2013

Open Sonnar - 1930s photo lens adapter for modern digital camera

Thingiverse use nhfoley published his project where he printed an adapter with focusing for his photo lens from 1930 to attach it to modern digital camera.

He printed it in acetal. Ultimaker forum post with more details on acetal printing:

Check out the beautiful photos: (by nhfoley)

SwissPen - 3d drawing pen

They won over 3Doodler which is not delivering at the moment. Kudos.


The swissPen comes with universal power supply 110-240V + 220 strands of plastic (lenght 25 cm each, 20 strands of each color, 11 colors : white, orange, black, yellow, purple, green, sky blue, red, blue, pink, glow in the dark)

swissPen International Price excl. VAT : CHF 95.00 / USD 102.836

Aug 23, 2013

Amazing 3d printed ornithopter and flying crawler from Japan

WOW! This just looks amazing and beautiful. Maybe little creepy also. Still, it is a remarkable peace of work.

RC version with small electric engine:

Rubber band powered version:

Flying Crawler version: multiple wings and extra creepiness ...

Quad version:

 (in Japanese)
(translated version)

Via: Hackaday 

Update (23.3.2014.):

Here is very detailed guide on Instructables how to make and build your own 3d printed ornithopter:

MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner

Looks Ok. Nothing extraordinary. The price is too high in my opinion. 1400$ for spinning platform and some laser scanners...
There will be a lot of copyright issues raised with 3d scanners getting more widespread. All those action figures waiting to be scanned and shared...
Also: more and more projects are offering 3d printed with integrated 3d scanner (and other tools), MakerBot may loose it's edge here ...

Tech specs:
  • 8" x 8" (20.3 x 20.3 cm) scan size
  • ± 2.0 mm dimensional accuracy
  • 0.5 mm detail resolution
  • Approximately 12 minutes scan speed
  • 800 steps per rotation
  • Artificial indoor lighting is optimal
  • 6.6 lbs (3kg) maximum weight on turntable
  • MakerWare for Digitizer software compatible with Windows 7+, Mac OSX (10.7+) and Linux (Ubuntu 12.04+)
  • STL exported file type
  • Two Class 1 laser line generators
  • 1.3 megapixel camera
  • USB connectivity
  • 0.9° step angle with 1/16 micro-stepping stepper motor

RepRap Wally makes first moves

From a man who brought us Simpson, Nicholas Seward, here comes Wally. The design should be low-cost, fast and precise.


More detailed presentation of concept in almost finished phase:

Animation of the Wally:

Main design outlines:
  • No linear rails
  • 28 cheap 608 bearings
  • 12 unique plastic pieces (none require support)
  • Printable on a 150x150mm machine
  • Theoretical speeds in excess of 500mm/s
  • Theoretical resolution is less than 25 microns

RepRap forum thread with more details:,220993

Aug 21, 2013

3d printing in Gartner 2013 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies

Where are we in 2013?

3d bioprinting is at "innovation trigger" stage.
Consumer 3d printing is at peak of inflated expectations.
Enterprise 3d printing is at beginning of the slope of enlightenment.

Seems right to me.


Here is the chart for 2014:

New technology for the assembling of large objects from small 3d printed units

Kenneth Cheung and Neil Gershenfeld published a paper and are actively researching construction of large structures from small interlocking 3d printed modules (building blocks).  The new material, the researchers say, could revolutionize the assembly of airplanes, spacecraft, and even larger structures, such as dikes and levees.

Yes yes, it can be used by robots to make spaceships in orbit, by I expect more of terrestrial appliances in near future (bridges, buildings etc.).

More information and source of pictures:

Aug 20, 2013

Demonstration video of Bukito 3d with various materials and test models

Video includes: Chain-mail (to test bridging), MAKE magazine's Torture Test, MABS Material Test and Nylon Test.
Looks great.


Aug 12, 2013

PolyJet Technology by Solid Concepts

PiMaker - DIY 3D Printer with circular buildplate


From project description by wjsteele:
This is the PiMaker 3D Printer. It utilizes the Printrboard set of electronics to drive a circular build plate instead of the standard cartesian coordinate based system of most other 3D printers. The benefit is that it has a very large build volume for it's relative chassis size. In fact, this particular configuration utilizes an 11" build platform (with 10.5" usable) and and 8" height, giving it a build volume over 650 cubic inches.
It utilizes all the sandard firmware and software with the exception of a single post processor script that does the polar conversion. This utility is currently written in C# (Mono.) It's usage is simple... just pass it the name of the file you wish to convert. It will create a backup of the file and rename the new one with the old name. (There are a few more modifications I'll be making to this file, but it works as is right now.)
This whole project is a work in progress, so check back for updates.

There is a detailed video build tutorial:

Other videos are listed at:

More details and downloads:

RepAK large(er) volume DIY 3d printer

I'm looking forward to seeing it in action!


Aug 8, 2013

Grabercars' Cerberus 250 Delta 3d printer

Cool looking Delta from Steve Graber.

From video description:

This is a design evolution derived from my original Cerberus printer (and the Rostock before that) in which I've incorporated a lot of interesting ideas that I've had floating around in my head. Triple hotends, magnetic ball joints, heated bed, belt drive, and more. In this video I'm printing a 'tornado' from thingiverse with .2mm layer height and .4mm layer width. Single perimeter vase. The head moves slowly because there is a 10 second minimum layer time to prevent the layers from overheating and sagging the print. This printer can print easily 50mm/s perimeters and 100+mm/s infill with close to 300mm/s travels.

Aug 7, 2013

3D printed wearable glasses computer based on Raspberry Pi

Steampunk style wearable glasses computer based on Raspberry Pi. Not a real alternative to the Google glass but with some upgrades it has huge potential.
Vorsprung durch selbstgemachte Technik.

Video (in German only)

Detailed description and downloadables: by DomesticHacks


here is smaller wearable eye computer project by Codeninja, it has an integrated camera but not detailed build description:

You wouldn't download a car, would you?

... just you wait ...

CNC safety infographic

New 3d printing filament: T-glase

From manufacturer page,

Today, taulman3D has released another high strength material. One for those users that print mostly with PLA or lower temperature 3D Printers. This new material is called “t-glase” (tee glass) short for tough glass. As a side note, t-glase was actually released to our local testers as “taulman 810”, however, it soon became known among our local testers and a few industrial customers as t-glase, so we kept that title.
Like 618, t-glase started with requests from you, the 3D Printing community. We initially released 618 in 3mm and things moved along very well. When we released 618 in 1.75mm a month later, we started to receive emails from users around the world that were using PLA and/or printing at lower temperatures. With an understanding of our processes, it was actually our chemists that came back to us and suggested we try a polymer known as PETT and introduced us to one of the world’s largest mfg of PETT components for industry. While printing in various types of PET isn’t new, we decided to work with the strongest of the PETT polymer combinations available. Most of us have seen a similar polymer in the form of clear high strength water transport containers. These are known to be extremely tough and resistant to breakage. Then the chemical company and manufacturer worked together to make us some evaluation line. With a few industrial customers along with some local operators, t-glase quickly went into testing. Within just 15 days, we gave away free for testing or sold the entire 124kg of available t-glase. Our goal now is to open t-glase for pre-sale to the 3D Printing Community.

The main features of t-glase
Strength - First, as it’s a taulman3D industrial line, it has to be strong and we, along with our local testers and some selected industrial testers, are very pleased with the strength of t-glase. Especially with the larger nozzles used on industrial units.
Temperature - Optimum temperature is about 212c to 224C, but will print down to 207C and up to about 235C.
FDA approved – t-glase is specifically made of FDA approved polymers for direct food contact/containers. This includes cups and other liquid storage parts as well as utensils.
Environmental - While t-glase is not biodegradable like PLA, it is a material that’s considered 100% reclaimable. Thus the new “struders” that convert failed prints back to usable line work perfectly with t-glase. If you have a “struder”, you can actually mix in 12% of the total weight in discarded clear water bottles.
Clarity – like 645 nylon, t-glase’s clarity supports industry’s requirements for non-destructive evaluation of 3D Printed parts.
Shrinkage - Very low shrinkage makes printing large flat surfaces a breeze. And it easily prints to acrylic, glass, Kapton and other platforms.
Bridging - Those of us that have printed with acrylics and polycarbonates are always envious of their bridging capabilities due to glass temperature. And the new t-glase is very impressive at bridging.
Fumes - Unlike some lines, there are no odors or fumes when 3D Printing with t-glase.

t-glass will come in “clear” as clear is a natural color for this polymer. We will begin to offer t-glass in colors around the end of the year.
I’m sure most of you are familiar with RichRap, i.e. Richard Horne as one of the reprap communities leaders in color. Richard released an excellent piece on color dying the taulman nylons and with the release of t-glase, Richard has signed on to be our color expert. He will provide direction on an initial color set and applicable pigments. In that t-glass is so clear, we expect Richard will continue to impress us all with his color touch.
t-glase is very strong, yet different from our nylons as it’s stiff, like PLA and ABS. And based on our first industrial trials, meets all the requirements for the three industrial customers that had an applicable need. To these customers, the clarity was a significant advantage for their quality control departments.

Video of garden sprinkler 3d printing and usage

Very detailed video by BusyBotz. He did it on his Aluminatus in some 2 hours. This will be in my garden also for next growing season. (by icepicktony)

Dual Extruder Dual X-Carriage Bukobot 3D Printer

BuidRob made a custom Bukobot with independently movable dual print heads. It looks AMAZING!!!
This could become a standard feature in the near future ...

Advantages of separate x-carriages:
  • The inactive extruder can be parked when not in use.
  • The inactive extruder can be easily capped when parked to prevent runout / ooze (which makes restarting the print more accurate).
  • Each x-carriage is almost half the weight which allows higher print speeds with less backlash.
  • The x-carriages can duplicate one another allow two copies of an object to be printed at one.

Demonstration of duplication mode:

Instructions, more information and downloads:

Aug 4, 2013

AIREAL - 3d printed haptic feedback with air vortex pulse

Disney research is really getting into 3d printing and cutting edge technologies.

From project page:

AIREAL is a new low cost, highly scalable haptic technology that delivers expressive tactile sensations in mid air. AIREAL enables users to feel virtual objects, experience dynamically varying textures and receive feedback on full body gestures, all without requiring the user to wear a physical device. AIREAL is designed to use a vortex, a ring of air that can travel large distances while keeping its shape and speed. When the vortex hits a user’s skin, the low pressure system inside a vortex collapses and imparts a force the user can feel. The AIREAL technology is almost entirely 3D printed using a 3D printed enclosure, flexible nozzle and a pan and tilt gimbal structure capable of a 75-degree targeting field. Five actuators are mounted around the enclosure which displaces air from the enclosed volume, through the flexible nozzle and into the physical environment. The actuated flexible nozzle allows a vortex to be precisely delivered to any location in 3D space.


I can see that this is a technology which is simple enough that someone could make DIY version of it. Also: one could make an entire room covered in AIREAL like arrays ...

Parts of 3d printed enclosure:

Full device:

Full research paper:

Here is new project form Disney, 3d printable felt soft toys: